Be a Tourist for a Day

Remember when you were a tourist in London? When the sight of a red bus made you gasp and a picnic in a Royal Park was the height of sophistication?  No. Neither do I. When did we start taking all of London’s iconic stuff for granted?

My best friend, who has lived in London all her life, blissfully overlooks all the classic tourist stuff. She didn’t visit Buckingham Palace until her mid twenties. I made her go.

Most of the time, we’re all guilty of rushing past historic buildings, choosing our sofas over cultural happenings and letting exciting events wash over us. I’ve been saying I’ll go on the London Eye for years.

We need to stop putting off ‘must-do’ London attractions. After an amazing summer in an amazing city, I think we all owe ourselves a touristy daytrip. Take a look at the inside of St Paul’s! Go on a boat ride along the Thames! Investigate that museum in Bloomsbury!

A great way to get enthusiastic again about your home city is to leaf through a guidebook. It forces you to look at your surroundings from a different angle, and reminds you of all the things you have at your fingertips.

A small coffee shop exhibition in a not so small bookshop (Foyles) is trying to get Londoners to look again at their surroundings. Lonely Planet has collaborated with artist and photographer Adrian Brannan to celebrate the re-launch of their City and Pocket guidebook ranges.

Brannan takes hundreds of photos in the same location over a period of time. Through sheer persistence and careful editing, he captures the unique character of some of the world’s most exciting cities.

It’s not a groundbreaking show, but it may just inspire you to take your camera and head to a capital beauty spot. And yes, a London sightseeing trip counts as travelling.

Every City Tells a Story: An exhibition by Lonely Planet and Artist Adrian Brannan is showing Monday – Saturday, 9am – 9pm, Sunday 10am – 6pm from 1 – 14 September 2012 at:

The Gallery at Foyles
Third Floor
Charing Cross Road

For more information, visit: www.foyles.co.uk/Lonely-Planet

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